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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

GREEK EDUCATION                         15

and archaeology." It was only through the music associated with
their religious ceremonies that the artistic side of life was re-
presented among them at all, and even that reflected the austere
spirit of the people " The style of the songs," says Plutarch,
" was plain and unaffected. Most commonly they were in praise
of the men who had died for their country." For the same reason,
dancing, of which they were very fond, generally took the form of
choral performances, in which were reproduced the movements
of battle, or of gymnastic exercises like wrestling,: Within their
limits both songs and dances were excellent, and their value as
a moral discipline was recognized by the best educators of
the other Greek States*

A distinctive feature of the Spartan system that deserves
mention was the attention paid to the training of the women.
Elsewhere in Greece the girls were brought up in the seclusion
of the home and received no education outside the sphere of
domestic occupations. The Spartans* with a clearer view of
the value of education, allowed them to live a free outdoor life>
and trained them in much the same way as they trained the
boys in order that they might be worthy mothers of brave and
resolute men. They had exercise grounds of their own where
they learned to jump and run, play ball, throw the javelin, wrestle,
dance and sing, just like the boys. The only difference was that
they were allowed to remain at home instead of being segregated
in. packs, and that their exercises were less strenuous. It is a
tribute to the effect of this training that the Spartan women had
the same high reputation as nurses and mothers among the other
Greeks as the Spartan men had as soldiers.

5* ATHENIAN EDUCATION

Xenophon, in speaking of the educational system of Sparta,
constantly contrasts it with that of Athens and " the rest of
Greece,11 The implication of the contrast is not merely that
Spartan education was unique—the only approximation to it
being found in Crete—but that, apart from differences in detail,
there was a fundamental sameness in the kind of education
given everywhere else in Greece. Since this i$ substantiated
by all that is known about the practice of the various States,
it will make for clearness to concentrate attention oix Athenian